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does aqua therapy work?



  • Hi there.
    After I had ACDF surgery I was still left with really bad pain / burning in-between the shoulder blades..

    It was so bad i was unable to do the regular PT that was ordered. The Ortho spine surgeon had me stop the therapy and have a new MRI to make sure nothing was wrong...
    The MRI shoed no disc herniations or fractures and anything other then an already known about hemangioma at T-7.

    I was put on aqua therapy and doing that kind of therapy for a few weeks really made the differnec in the world for me. I was then able to graduatee to regular therapy.

    All the burning was mainly coming from the muscles and knots on the scapular area....although you problems may be different the therapy was very nice...no pressures and easy to do and the best part after the therapy was the jacuzzi,

    If your ready to have surgery, and only you and your doc would know this, and you have to wait for a while to have the surgery you might try doing a bit of the therapy before surgery to see if it will help until you do have the surgery.
    I think the cirrculation that it will give your body will be great as long as your doc thinks your able to do the therapy and it does not aggrivate you!
    Good luck and hope you feel better soon!
  • Just wondering, to those of you who found improvement using water therapy.......did it take quite awhile for you to see any benefits, such as reduced pain and relief from muscles spasms,etc> I was just wondering what kinda time frame you had before you started seeing positives from this. I fully realize that all people are individuals and different, but I was just trying to get an idea. This is all very new to me, so please forgive my "newbie" question. Thanks!
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526

    for a spine-health site introduction, click on :

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    dont not fret, no such thing as a simple or newbie question.
    all questions are handled.
    i've done aqua therapy for over 3 years now. initially, it was more of a strain then my land physical therapy was. i figured, what is so difficult about walking in the water, using a few paddles, etc. i almost wanted to stop it.
    after about 3 weeks, i started feeling better doing it.
    it became a routine with me. i felt that i had better flexibility , but other than that, no major improvements.
    but yet the improvements were there.
    - dropped my cholesterol over 100 points
    - lost 15 pounds
    - reduce my oxycontin daily intake
    i strongly believe in aqua therapy.. however, it easy to overdue it. i started to use the paddles more and more and i did too much. that caused some problems for my thoracic discs. so, now i just concentrate on walking and stretching in the water.
    it does work
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • For me, it is greatly helping me to become more flexible since my surgery. Since I still need an additional surgery, its' hard to say whether it'll allow my to reduce my meds. We'll see about that after the next surgery.
  • HI

    I was told two months ago that I require an anterior fusion at L5 for degenerated disc. I had already had unsuccessful facet joint injections, but still wanted to try anything before surgery. My osteopath recommended aqua exercises which I do four times a week, in addition to physio exercises at home twice a day. I definately felt better inside and out for the exercising, although I have been informed by both osteopath and surgeon that I will still need surgery to stabilise my spine (still get random pain that can appear anywhere in my body due to the problem). What I will say is that in my case, it has helped to strengthen my back which will hopefully make recovery from surgery easier (or so the osteopath and surgeon tell me). The same people also informed me that I have more of a chance of successful surgery by strengthening my back. I don't know if anyone else on here may disagree with that, but it is what I have been told in the past week.
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  • I have been going now for about 10 treatments & I hurt so bad afterwards that I end up eating painkillers like tic tacs. I see my ortho Monday & see what he says. I am about 6 1/2 months out from two level 360 fusion on L3-4 & L4-5. I have been in so much pain since surgery that I am at my wits end & wonder how long I can continue? On top of all this my wife filed for divorce about one month ago & we are still living together for now due to my back situation & disability & the fact that while I was out on medical leave for my surgery my employer layed me off. Whats next??

  • Are you in any pain DURING therapy? If so, you need to tell your PT, they have told me every time, if it starts to hurt STOP NOW. They want you to do only as much as you comfortably can. I've been going for 11 sessions now. The last session was the first time I went without any pain killers whatsoever, and it cost me a setback, and shorter session. If you are having problems during or after, you NEED to tell your PT, if they are worth their weight, they will know what to do.

  • Is aqua therapy a particular group of exercises that is standard all around the country? Everyone talks about aqua therapy and I don't really know what it is. Obviously I understand the concept...I just wondered if it meant the same all over -- like the "macKenzie method" or what Pilates used to mean before it got really polluted!
  • I was just thinking the same think gwennie17...I googled aqua therapy in my area & I'm trying to figure out what makes a good one.
  • For me, Aqua therapy involves:
    1. walking back and forth for 3 minutes
    2. Walking sideways back and forth for 3 minutes
    3. Leaning forward/backward very slightly but quickly, thirty times
    4. with legs together, bend knees slightly and straighten 30 times (these last 2 are ballet-type moves, can't remember what they're called)
    5. lean slightly right, holding onto edge and lifting leg as far as I can without causing pain, 30 times each side.
    6. "marching" (exaggerating leg lift) back and forth for 3 minutes.
    7. In sort of a runners "start" position (one leg in front of the other), move arms in swinging motion through water, 30 times each leg forward.
    8. Bend knees and swish arms back and forth through water ant ninety degree angle to my body.

    All of these are done with a small current running in the water, so I must use my stomach muscles to hold myself up. They have also added extra movements to what I already do recently, plus have me holding hand-fins. The therapy pool can be used for many other things, including swimming (with a current running fast enough, you can swim at any speed but stay in one place.

    As for standards, I'm sure there are some standards, depending on what you are seeing them for.

    Hope this helps a bit :p

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